DARKO PANCEV PART OF ZIDANE'S WORLD STARS
Darko Pancev is the only player from the Balkans to be invited to participate on a Canadian tour as part of the Zinadine Zidane's project to make football more popular in Canada.
There will be several matches played in Toronto and Vancouver probably vs Toronto FC and the Vancouver Whitecaps. The tourney will last from June 22 to July 5th. Zidane's group had insisted that Darko Pancev be part of the very prestigious group of football players, including Paolo Maldini, Franco Barezi, Pavel Nedved, Christian Vieri, Ronaldo etc.
Hopefully Pancev will answer positively to this invitation so the large Macedonian community in Canada can see him play.
Who is Darko Pancev?
Perhaps the fact the Zidane insisted Darko Pancev be part of this tournament, says it all. Voted best Macedonian football player of the century in 2000, Darko had started his career at Skopje based FC Vardar at the age of 17. His world stardom came when he transferred to Red Star Belgrade. Red Star won the Champions League and later the Intercontinental Cup (world champs). Upon the Yugoslavian break up, Pancev moved to Inter Milan and later to Fortuna Dusseldorf, at the end ending his club career at Sion.
In 2006, Pancev received his European Golden Boot, an award given out by French sports magazine L'Equipe. Darko received his award after 15 years of wait when UEFA finally admitted that Cyprus had fixed matches/scoring sprees to allow one of their players claim the golden boot.
Perhaps Pancev is probably best remembered by the Greek Government, who in 1991 refused to let him enter Greece as part of the Red Star football team because he was Macedonian. UEFA intervened and Darko was allowed to enter.
Pancev's gift to the Greek Government and Olympiacos were two incredible goals.
MD: That's cool news for the Macedonians living in Canada!